To promote the tremendous opportunities ahead for the forest sector, we are involved in activities to attract new employees and encourage students to pursue disciplines related to the company’s core business. Our executives and other company representatives meet regularly with students from post-secondary institutions to discuss the many career options available with Canfor and Canfor Pulp.
In 2014, we appointed Tracey Arnish as our Senior Vice-President, People and Culture. In this new executive position, she will lead the overall talent strategy for Canfor and Canfor Pulp, and support human resources teams.
Our human resources teams in northern British Columbia responded immediately when they learned that a mine had closed in Tumbler Ridge, putting 700 skilled tradespeople out of work.
We represented our industry and our companies at 12 job fairs in 2014, and also participated in other events to promote our career opportunities and benefits, our communities and Canfor’s culture.
As part of our sponsorship of the 2015 Canada Winter Games in Prince George, we hosted high-school students from across northern British Columbia so they could attend high-profile events such as hockey games and learn about careers in the forest sector.
Canfor Pulp provides opportunities for students to gain work experience while pursuing their education. In 2014, we employed 40 summer students, 12 co-op students and three interns. Since 2006, Canfor Pulp has partnered with School District 57 and the College of New Caledonia to offer apprenticeship experience to Grade 11 and 12 students through the college’s Career Technical Centre. In 2014, 300 students participated in this program.
A number of our forestry and mill staff volunteer for the Council of Forest Industries (COFI) Forest Education Program, held in several locations including Fort St. John, Chetwynd and Prince George. Forestry, mill and nursery staff also were part of the Yellowhead Rotary Club’s Adventures in Forestry and Environmental Studies, a three-day program for high school students held annually in Prince George.
For the second year, our staff taught a Forest Operations and Management course through a partnership with the University of Northern British Columbia. Students gain an understanding of operational practices in harvest planning and implementation, and learn about the overall supply chain flow.
In 2014, we provided $66,000 through our scholarship and bursary programs. Our scholarship programs support forestry, wood products manufacturing and engineering studies, as well as studies leading to millwright, electrician, power engineer, instrument technician, welder and heavy-duty mechanic designations.
In 2014, we awarded scholarships to high school students from our operating communities. In the second year of the Bentley-Prentice scholarships for children of Canfor employees, we recognized five students for academic excellence. We also have post-secondary scholarships administered through universities and technical institutes in British Columbia and Alberta.
We are proud to support aboriginal students in our operating areas through the Canfor bursary, part of the New Relationship Trust Foundation’s Scholarship and Bursary Award Program. The first recipients pursued welding and millwright training. Heather Johnny from Takla Lake First Nation says: “I take great pride in what I do, for I want to set a good example for my son.”
We believe referrals from existing employees are a great way to recruit people who will fit into our culture. Through our Employee Referral Policy, we offer a bonus of $500 to $1,500 to staff who refer a candidate. The bonus is paid 60 calendar days after the new employee’s start date. All employees who refer a candidate are also entered into a quarterly draw for gift certificates for Canfor merchandise.